As was expected when the Toronto Maple Leafs acquired the big defenceman from the Ottawa Senators, Jared Cowen has been placed on unconditional waivers for the purpose of buyout as the NHL’s buyout period opens.
— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) June 15, 2016
Cowen didn’t play a single game for the Leafs after he was brought over as part of the Dion Phaneuf deal with Ottawa on February 9 last season. After the 6-foot-5 defenceman was brought in by the Maple Leafs, he was immediately placed on waivers and sent home by the team to await his offseason buyout – a step the franchise is now taking.
Originally taken ninth overall in 2009 by the Senators, Cowen’s never really found his step at the NHL level. After scoring 119 points in 239 games with the WHL’s Spokane Chiefs, he’s only managed 46 points in 249 NHL contests with Ottawa.
His lack of success at the NHL level has forced the 25-year-old in and out of the lineup over his five seasons in the NHL. He played 37 games with the Sens in 2015-16 before joining the Leafs on paper.
While he wasn’t pleased with his situation in Toronto, the buyout will give him an opportunity to prove himself again and earn another shot at a successful NHL career.
The buyout actually benefits the Leafs in 2016 freeing up nearly $3-million in total cap hits and earning them a $650,000 cap credit for the upcoming season, according to General Fanager.
While it will still cost them in 2017, it’s a minimal penalty for the franchise to open up space now. It also benefits a player who would otherwise continue to be disappointed with his situation in Toronto.